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Q4 2016 Clean Power Plan & Midwest Policy Update

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SEIA’s State Policy team works in state legislatures and state regulatory agencies, advocating for policies that will create, expand, and defend solar markets, and increase the competitiveness of the technologies and product offered by our member companies. In addition to our direct work in SEIA’s priority states, SEIA is working to ensure that the Clean Power Plan survives court challenge and is eventually implemented by EPA in a manner that maximizes solar deployment. We are also working to help states prepare for eventual Clean Power Plan implementation, with an emphasis on emerging markets in the Midwest.

Clean Power Plan

SEIA continues to be actively engaged in Clean Power Plan rulemaking, defense, and implementation. We are in the process of reviewing our expected emphasis on these issues given recent developments.

  • SEIA is defending the Clean Power Plan in federal court at the D.C. Circuit to ensure the rule withstands legal challenge and remains on the books.
  • SEIA is working with EPA to finalize the federal implementation plan, model rules, and clean energy incentive program to ensure that states and utilities can invest in solar to comply with the CPP.

Midwest States

Upon successfully securing legislation that increases the statewide net metering caps in April 2016, and requires the development of a new solar incentive program, SEIA is working with the legislature, the governor’s office, and administrative agencies on a number of implementation issues.

  • Midwest solar markets are poised for growth with new policy activity in late 2016.
    • Illinois enacted a “fix” to its RPSs law in early December that will support up to 1,350 MW of new solar by 2020, and growth through 2030.  The law also establishes new community solar, low-income solar, brownfield solar, and distributed generation programs that will lead to diverse and balanced solar market development that is accessible to all Illinois residents.
    • Ohio’s solar market is ready for a comeback – the REPS freeze that has stalled the market will expire at the end of 2016 – but only if Governor Kasich vetoes a bill on his desk in mid-December that would extend the freeze.  SEIA is working with allies in Ohio to ensure that the Governor makes good on his earlier promises to veto such legislation.
    • Michigan is also considering legislation that would increase its RPS, to 15% by 2021, but other provisions in the bill are problematic.
  • SEIA has partnered with the Environmental Law and Policy Center to create the Midwest Solar Coalition in order to facilitate industry engagement and expand market opportunities for solar companies in the Midwest.
    • SEIA holds a bi-weekly policy update with the Environmental Law and Policy Center that is open to all solar stakeholders.
    • SEIA lobbied on behalf of the recently passed RPS expansion in Illinois alongside local and regional allies.
    • SEIA and ELPC are fighting utility proposals in Iowa to establish residential demand charges and other rate changes that will discourage both solar and energy efficiency.  The utility there, Mid-American, is owned by the same holding company that owns NV Energy.
    • SEIA, ELPC, MNSEIA and others are working to fight customer charges for DG customers in Minnesota.
    • SEIA, ELPC, and Vote Solar are fighting for improved valuation of solar under PURPA in Michigan to expand markets for distributed and utility scale solar.
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